How to Make Your Own Modern Canvas Art

Make your own custom canvas

Last week was the big reveal of our Modern Master Bathroom renovation. Ever since the reveal, I’ve been getting questions about this canvas piece. Mostly, “Can I ask where you bought that?” Well, my friends, it’s a DIY! Almost all of the art in my home is handmade (and I’m getting better and better at it!).

This custom piece is great for any room

This canvas was made using my Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine. It’s a cutting machine that people typically think is used for paper crafts, but I’ve used it for a ton of home decor projects including wooden signs, etched vases, and coasters.

You can find more great Cricut projects in my Cricut Project Gallery.

Here's the canvas you'll need

Here’s what you need to make this typography art: 

Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine
Black Paint (Coal Black)
Iron-on white vinyl
Light Grip Cricut Mat
18″ x24″ Canvas

Cricut design for your custom canvas

If you want to use the same text as me, you can open my Cricut canvas HERE and save it to your own computer.

Detail of Cricut project

When you go to print the words, you need to check the box that says “Mirror Image”. This will cut a mirror image of your words so that you can iron them on.

How to use iron on vinyl

Place the iron-on vinyl on your light grip cutting mat, with the shiny side down. You don’t want the Cricut to cut through the protective shiny layer. Then set your Cricut to “iron-on vinyl” and cut.

Custom canvas tutorial

After your cut it done, you can remove the negative vinyl so that only the words are left. They will still be sitting on that protective shiny layer.  I used scissors at this point to cut the plastic into four separate pieces (one for each line of wording).

Vinyl lettering pattern

I painted my entire canvas my favourite deep black colour (it needed a couple of coats). And when it was ready, I used a ruler to line up my vinyl letters. I tried to get the same spacing between all of the words (about 1.5″).

Carefully place the vinyl letters Once you're happy with the placement, iron it on carefully

Once I was happy with the placement, I used an iron on the “No Steam” setting to press on the vinyl. The clear layer is there is protect and transfer the vinyl. If you use the iron directly on the vinyl, without the clear layer, it could melt and distort the vinyl, so you need to be careful to only apply heat where there is a protective layer.

Carefully peel back the vinyl

The heat will separate the vinyl from the protective layer, and you will be able to just peel it back once the vinyl has set. If you find you are pulling vinyl up, just put it back down and apply a bit more heat.

You don’t have to frame the canvas, but if you want to frame your own canvas, it’s super easy, and I’ll show you how!

Here’s what you need to frame the canvas: 

Pine Board cut into 3/4″ square pieces
Wood Glue
Speed Square
Table Saw
Mitre Saw
Cordless Nailer

I don’t have a picture of the pine board being cut, because we had scraps of 3/4″ square pieces, but the first step is to cut your 3/4″ pine board into square strips, longer than the length of your canvas.

Measure and trim the canvas sides

Next, you want to measure your canvas sides. Even though it says it’s 18″, it might be 18.5″ or something because of the wrapping. When you know the length, add 1.5″(3/4″ times two because your board is 3/4″ and you are adding board to both sides) to that (so 18.5″ length becomes 20″ length on the long side). Measure this distance and cut a 45 degree angle on the mitre saw (photo above). Flip the wood around and do the same thing on the other side (in my example, the long edge would be 20″, and the short edge 18.5″ when you are done).

Use a speed square to make sure your angles are correct

Use a speed square to make sure that your angles are correct.

Carefully glue the edges

Add wood glue to the edges, then line them up with the speed square again and using a nailer to nail them in place

Once the glue is dry, carefully nail the frame in place

Once the wood glue is dry, you can pop the canvas in place and use the nailer to nail the frame to the canvas.

detail of canvas frame

This is exactly what I wanted for our bathroom – it’s so easy to make your own home decor!

Check out the amazing finished pieceSo happy with the way this piece turned outThe custom piece looks great in the bathroom

If you like making your own artwork, check out this Painted Canvas Tutorial that you can make in less than an hour!

Painted Canvas Tutorial

How to frame your own canvas

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

7 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Modern Canvas Art

  1. This is amazing! I thought I had tried all the ways to use a Cricut and I have never heard of applying heat transfer vinyl to painted canvas. Best project ever.

  2. This is awesome! And great tips for the framing – I never realized how simple it would be to put a frame around a canvas myself. I’m totally going to give it a go with my own paintings.

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